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Valentino Rossi blames tyres for a 'difficult' MotoGP qualifying

Valentino Rossi Spielberg MotoGP 2017

Valentino Rossi says his difficulty in getting his second set of qualifying tyres to work is to blame for his third row starting position for Sunday's MotoGP Austrian Grand Prix.

The Italian veteran could manage no better than seventh in qualifying, behind team-mate Maverick Vinales as well as the satellite Tech3 Yamaha of Johann Zarco.

Rossi said an issue with the rear tyre he used for his second run was responsible for his poor run, after he had set fifth fastest time in Saturday morning's practice.

"My potential was to be in the top five for sure, also [possibly] on the front row," said Rossi, who had been ill on Friday with flu-like symptoms.

"From the start [of third practice] we improved the balance of the bike a lot and I felt comfortable, I was always quite competitive.

"With the soft for the qualifying I was quite strong, but unfortunately the second [soft] tyre didn't work well.

"I had less grip and a lot of spinning.

"I tried to push at the maximum but it was impossible to improve.

"Unfortunately sometimes it happens, this time it happened to me.

"I have to start from the third row; that is always quite difficult.

"But my pace is not so bad, we have to try pushing from the beginning to the end and we'll see."

Having previously discounted the possibility of using the new Yamaha fairing he tried in Brno testing last weekend in the Austrian Grand Prix, Rossi trialled the bodywork again in Saturday morning practice in Austria.

He kept the fairing for qualifying, and said he was likely to stick with it on SUnday.

"This is maybe not the best track [for the fairing], but yesterday we had a lot of wheelie issues so we decided to test it, because it could help control the wheelie," he said.

"In fact it's good to ride, it helps me. So I think we will we use it [in the race]."

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